How to Improve Your Website Speed

How to Improve Your Website Speed

So, you think that your website speed isn’t important? Think again. A single second delay in your page loading time yields:

  • 7% loss in conversions
  • 10% loss in page views
  • 15 second loss in customer satisfaction

Additional seconds can have a potentially huge impact on your ability to engage visitors and make sales.

Having a fast website isn’t just essential for ranking well in Google, but it is also important for a great user experience which can be the difference between a user becoming a customer or bouncing away from your website. 

How Website Speed Influences Conversions

It’s a fact that slow website speeds are conversion killers. 47% of users expect websites to load within two seconds. 40% will up and leave if a page takes more than three! Meaning that if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you could lose almost half of your visitors before they even arrive! Or worse still; deter visitors who do decide to stay from returning

So, it’s safe to establish that improving your websites speed WILL improve its performance. Consider that Googles load time once experienced an extra 5 seconds, which led to a 20% (yes, you read that correctly) drop in traffic. Amazon also ran A/B tests where they displayed pages in 100 millisecond increments. They found that even these small delays caused decreases in revenue that were “substantial and costly”.

How Your Website Speed Influences Your Visibility

Google considers speed when ranking websites. It can also influence how easy it is to find your website. This is particularly true now that Google has rolled out its mobile-first index. From December 2017, Google ranks all search results based on the mobile versions of the page. Because of this, mobile user experience plays a major role in search rankings, even in the desktop search results – the opposite of how the index previously worked.

User experience has long been a factor in search rankings for some time, but Google previously only took desktop experience into consideration. Even if a website had a poor mobile performance, there was still a chance of it ranking on the first page. Now, you must have a site that provides a quick and easy user experience on any screen size and on any browser if you want to maintain or improve your rankings. 

What is an Acceptable Load Time?

Before you work on your site’s speed, you should think about where you want it to be. That can be difficult if you don’t know what an acceptable page speed is. According to Google, three seconds is best practice. However, recent findings show that most sites are nowhere near this. After analysing 900,000 mobile ad landing pages, Google discovered that 70% took almost seven seconds for the visual content above the fold to display.

As your site improves, you can use recommendations from Google to set goals and measure performance. As the worlds largest search engine, Google has a substantial impact on your success. So, using Googles standards as your own is definitely a good idea. 

Speeding up your Website in 2018

Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Hosting media files on a CDN could save up to 60% bandwidth and halve the requests your website makes. CDNs work by hosting files across a network of servers around the globe. Because the bandwidth is spread across multiple servers, it reduces the load on any one server.

Compress your images

Image compression reduces file size without negative impact on the image quality. If you’re optimising 64% of your websites weight which is images, you’ll be improving your websites speed.

Fix your broken links!

Broken links drain bandwidth, but they’re also a great way to get a user to leave. So, if page speed isn’t a compelling enough reason to fix broken links, then perhaps the impact on user behaviour is.

Reduce your redirects

While 301 redirects (permanent) are preferable to 404 errors (broken links), they’re still not ideal as they increase the time it takes a browser to find the correct version.

Switch off the plugins you’re not using

With Wordpress sites, the number 1 culprit for slowing down your site is usually redundant plugins. If you have any on your site that are no longer in use or non-essential, delete them.

Minify your JavaScript and CSS files

If your website is using a tonne of JavaScript and CSS files, there will be a lot of browser requests when visitors want to access parts of the site. Since web browsers treat each file individually, those numerous requests are going to impact your page speed. 

Page Speed is More Important than Ever

Now that mobile Internet usage is expected to take over desktop soon, it is essential to make sure that you’ve fixed your page speed. Users are far less tolerant of slow websites nowadays and the shift towards internet-enabled devices means that if you’re not fast, you’ll get left behind.

How Ascensor can help

If you want to find out your page speed is, why not try our page speed test? You might be surprised at the results. If you need help speeding up your website, getting more traffic, better visibility and more conversions, get in touch and see how Ascensor can help. 

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